This year on Denimology we are going to take you behind the scenes to learn a little more about the people who design the jeans that you are all wearing. We are kicking off with Michelle Siwy, the superhip Founder and Designer of Siwy Denim.
1) How would you describe your personal style?
I went through literally every possible style phase growing up. Now I am a complete mixture of all the genres of my past, but with a more sophisticated, grown-up overtone. The best way to describe my style would be bohemian-goth-glamour.
I have a dark side, but always with a touch of humor.
2) If you could only wear one pair of jeans for the rest of your life which would they be and why?
I would wear Siwy Rose jeans in Kiss wash. I love the length, and how they have broken in over the years. They are super soft, and the way they fall over my ankle feels very dreamy and sexy.
3) When you go shopping, what do you look for in a pair of jeans?
For women, jeans should serve the purpose of making you feel long, lean, and accentuate your curves. I think the most important thing is that your jeans give your bottom a good lift! It's just way cuter. I don't know one guy who finds a flat bottom attractive either.
4) Legging jeans are big this season, how would you wear them?
Legging jeans are versatile and comfortable. Our leggings have denim styling, with pockets on the front or back, so it's easier to wear them with shorter jackets. I like to wear my Siwy jeggings in black (Lush),with a loose white tank top, and a shorter black blazer (often with sequin detail). I top the look off with thigh high suede boots or floppy ankle boots. If I am wearing something that shows my ankle, I'll wrap necklaces or bracelets on them for a little personality and fun.
5) Which shoes/boots go best with a pair of Siwy jeans?
Shoes are so important and can make or break an outfit! This is especially true when it comes to denim, which most people think should take less effort. In fact, it's completely the opposite. With Siwy Camilla shorts, I may wear sheer black tights and thigh high boots. The Hannah cut I like to wear with slouchy ankle boots with a heel. Our Alice Boyfriend jeans I pair with black cut out ankle boots to make them a bit more feminine and chic.
6) Which style of jeans will you be rocking this winter?
I will be rotating Siwy Rose and Hannah jeans (shown above), and shorts. I always wear shorts, even in the winter, with tights.
7) Bleached, tie-dye and acid wash have been popular recently. What would you advise wearing with these statement jeans?
I think it's sexiest with a top that is made of natural fiber, like a simple, slouchy, flirty cotton tank top, maybe a few necklaces to complete the look. The pattern on the jeans stands out so much, you don't want overdo it, you will kill the look and be an eye sore.
8) Over the knee boots and skinny jeans, what do you think?
I love them! OTK boots were my ultimate purchase this season. I prefer taking it thigh high. It's a delicate balance that looks chic and slick. I do think the material of the boot though, must be suede. Otherwise they can look cheap, and you run the risk of looking like a street walker.
9) Do you have a particular type of person or must in mind when you are designing a pair of jeans?
I am very perceptive. I like to check out the styles of the girls on the streets of New York. It's the center of the universe, so we get people from all over. Sometimes I even sneak pictures of people that later inspire me when I design, and they will never know. I let myself design freely, thinking of the mood of the collection and how it is reflected in the jeans. It's only at the end of the process do I ask myself, "Would Kate Moss think these are cool?" I am also a little obsessed with Melanie Huynh, Emmanuelle Alt (shown above), and stylist Barbara Martelo. I can picture them all in my jeans.
10) There is a big trend amongst teen bloggers to post photos of their oufits online. Are you ever influenced by personal style that you see online?
Yes. I check out how people are piecing outfits together. It helps me have a better understanding of the desired looks and shape that people are interested in. Fashion blogging gets out much faster and is more widely influential than magazines in a way, because you can blog in an instant, whereas you have to wait months for a hard copy of a magazine to come out. As a designer, I am sensitive to everything, which includes the most minute of details. Even a detail as subtle as the length and width of a necklace influences my design choices. The way someone ties their hair up may make me think about different shapes and silhouettes. It's a while chain reaction in my mind that is inspired by these fascinating individuals, who are just as careful with their style.
11) Kate Moss loves your jeans, how cool is that?
It was on my list of things to accomplish before I die.
12) What are the biggest denim crimes?
Not wearing the proper size. Too big or too small is just wrong. With so many amazing denim lines out there now, there is no reason people should be wearing unflattering denim.
13) ) In the UK Levi's are famously associated with the Marvin Gaye track I Heard It Through The Grapevine after it was used in a commercial in the 1980s. If you were to use one music track to embody the spirit of your brand which would it be and why.
"Just like Heaven" by The Cure. I have really deep feelings about this song, so I have to explain my interpretation for my answer to make sense. The song is filled with memory, fantasy and emotional depth about love. It's about love, risk, regret, loss, mistakes and good memories.
I love that the song is upbeat, romantic and cheerful because instead of wallowing in sorrow with the regret and realization that instead of her being lost and lonely, it turns on him and he is lost and lonely. He has to live with the fact that he let his dream girl get away, so he is choosing to focus on keeping the great and wonderful memories that he still does have alive, because they were just like heaven.
In Life, your past is your past, but the memories you create in your own life story are yours to keep, even when life forces you to go on. You have just your memory filled with positive thoughts of what once was. Denim is like a memory and records your story with each wear.
Jeans are comforting and familiar because of the years of wear and emotional attachment. Denim is a fabric that can stand the test of time and one of the only fabrics that really age with us. In fact, it gets more beautiful with age.
Just like denim (no pun intended here-ha), you would not dispose them but have all your memories captured with fading, rips, stains, repairs and all the things that happen to your jeans that make them yours. They are beautiful memories and a work of art. It's important for us to have a good memory of our past and mistakes because we grow from them.
Then it works because the title works literally to represent our brand too because our jeans look and feel "just like heaven" and our signature open heart logo is about love and everything that comes with the subject. We all want it.